Great food is a Shore thing in Carronshore

The Shore's spectacular dishes impressed our reviewer
The Shore's spectacular dishes impressed our reviewer

There is absolutely no doubt that under the Trades Description Act The Shore at Carronshore is guilty of misrepresentation.

Its website promises great food and great service - but don’t be fooled. This former lounge bar at the edge of the village delivers much more than that.

Anyone who dropped in during its former life as the Blackmill Inn will no doubt remember it fondly for serving a decent pint and typical ‘chips with everything’ bar lunch, but today customers step into an impressively refurbished eaterie on two floors, with surroundings and menu to match.

Last Friday when Audrey and I arrived the signs were good from the start.

The place was already ‘buzzing’ as we ordered a drink at the bar before being shown to our table.

We appreciated being given a few minutes to settle in and take a quick trip down memory lane to try and recall how the place used to look in its previous guise, before a member of the front of house staff presented us with the glossy menu.

I have to admit it took us more than another few minutes to decide what the chef would be asked to freshly prepare for us.

Seven starters, a shellfish selection, seasonal main courses and the cleverly titled ‘Shorethings’ took up one side of the impressive sheet of options before a quick glance to the other revealed the choice of steaks and chicken from the grill as well as burgers, side orders and desserts.

To start, Audrey opted for the poached salmon and tiger prawns with Bloody Mary mayonnaise while the Stornoway black pudding served on beetroot and topped with mouth-melting goats cheese and lambs lettuce did not disappoint me.

The duck breast and cherry port jus with Pak choi, blood orange, carrot puree and sweet potato mash proved just too tempting for Audrey as her main meal, although there was much debate before it got the vote ahead of the fillet of smoked hake or pancetta wrapped monkfish. I went for the sirloin steak brushed with the house-special marinade, chargrilled to perfection and then finished with a barbecue glaze and served with grilled vine tomato, beer battered onion rings, steak cut chips, field mushrooms and pea shoots – but this was also a difficult choice given fillet, popseye and ribeye on the bone were also tantalising options.

Then there were the sweets. Eight to select from and all very, very tempting. The Baileys and white chocolate creme brulee combination was Audrey’s final choice while the Scottish Cranachan, a delicious caramel shortcake ice cream just perfect for me.

The professional way our food was prepared, plated up and served was exceptional - making our eating out experience much, much better than just the “great” one promised by owners Ian and Marilyn Murtagh.

Marilyn welcomed us with a warm smile and Ian stopped by later to check everything was “okay” – which it more than was. The couple paid every bit as much attention to the rest of their patrons on a very busy night which for me was nearly as impressive as the food.

The Shore at Carronshore, 195 Carronshore Road, Carron, Falkirk. Telephone (01324) 570658 or e-mail to book.